The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the acclaimed, best-selling Half the Sky now issue a plea--deeply personal and told through the lives of real Americans--to address the crisis in working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure.
With stark poignancy and political dispassion, Tightrope draws us deep into an "other America." The authors tell this story, in part, through the lives of some of the children with whom Kristof grew up, in rural Yamhill, Oregon, an area that prospered for much of the twentieth century but has been devastated in the last few decades as blue-collar jobs disappeared. About one-quarter of the children on Kristof's old school bus died in adulthood from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or reckless accidents. And while these particular stories unfolded in one corner of the country, they are representative of many places the authors write about, ranging from the Dakotas and Oklahoma to New York and Virginia. But here too are stories about resurgence, among them: Annette Dove, who has devoted her life to helping the teenagers of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, as they navigate the chaotic reality of growing up poor; Daniel McDowell, of Baltimore, whose tale of opioid addiction and recovery suggests that there are viable ways to solve our nation's drug epidemic. These accounts provide a picture of working-class families needlessly but profoundly damaged as a result of decades of policy mistakes. With their superb, nuanced reportage, Kristof and WuDunn have given us a book that is both riveting and impossible to ignore.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The so-called American dream seems to be totally out of reach for working Americans. In this searing study, Pulitzer-winning husband-and-wife journalist team Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn examine how that happened. Tightrope delves into the big-picture politics and policies that have contributed to the suffering of so many blue-collar families—from systemic class prejudice to misguided follies like the war on drugs—but the book’s power comes from the compassionate portraits of the people Kristof grew up with in rural Oregon during the 1970s. The writer shares how a quarter of his high-school classmates died of poverty-related causes before their 40th reunion, and their harrowing stories resonate throughout the entire book. Jennifer Garner’s warm narration brings an almost maternal empathy to the saddest stories, while underscoring the hopefulness of rare successes like an after-school program for underprivileged kids in Arkansas. A useful appendix suggests how readers can use their votes, time, and charitable donations to make a difference. Maybe that’s the best takeaway from Tightrope: it might you mad enough to do something about these problems.
Me am 9
Me didn’t read the book